How to cite: H. L. BANCIU (2018) The saline organic-rich sediments: A short overview.
2018 Air and Water Components of the Environment Conference Proceedings, P. 129-135, DOI: 10.24193/AWC2018_16
THE SALINE ORGANIC-RICH SEDIMENTS: A SHORT OVERVIEW
H. L. BANCIU
ABSTRACT. – The saline organic-rich sediments: A short overview. Organic-rich sediments (or ‘sapropels’) are complex organo-mineral matrices that form at the O2-depleted bottom of stagnant water basins. Besides geochemical transformations, slow rate microbially-driven processes underpin the early diagenesis of these sediments. The fossil sapropels found in various marine or lacustrine environments are known as proxies for past climate or hydrological fluctuations. Present-day organic-rich sediments have been described both in fresh (‘gyttja’) and brackish or saline waters mostly in the boreal zones. They are currently used for agricultural or therapeutic purposes. Few saline lakes with significant deposits of modern sapropels are known worldwide. On Romanian territory, saline lakes with substantial organic-rich sediments are found in the Transylvanian Basin (e.g. Ursu Lake, Sovata) and in the South-Eastern part (e.g. the inland, athalassohaline Amara, and the coastal, thalassohaline Techirghiol lakes). The exploration of microbial diversity inhabiting the saline sapropels will improve our current understanding on the processes leading to formation and mineralization of organic-rich sediments of economic value.
Keywords: microbial dark matter, mud therapy, saline, sapropels, Ursu Lake.